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The Liberian Elections and its winner

Liberia is a country located on the Western coast of Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the current and outgoing President of Liberia. She is currently at the end of her second term and as her term drew to an end, Liberians went to ballot to elect new Representatives, President and Vice President to run the country for the next six years.

On 9 October 2017, Liberians stood the sun in long queues to elect their next President and representatives. As per the elections law of the Republic of Liberia, a presidential candidate must obtain 50%+ 1 votes to be declared the winner but unfortunately, no presidential candidate obtained this required vote during the first round. As such, the two highest votes were considered for a run-off; His Excellency Amb George M. Weah of the Collation for Democratic Change and Vice President Joseph Boika of the Unity Party. There were 20 presidential candidates.

The second round was originally scheduled for 7 November 2017 but was postponed after the Liberty Party standard-bearer Cllr. Charles Brumskine, in third place, challenged the result in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court dismissed the challenge, which would have forced a re-run of the first round had it been successful, and the second round was held on 26 December 2017. Weah emerged victorious with over 60% of the vote. He is succeeding Africa’s first democratically elected female president. Throughout these elections, our prayers were “Liberia should remain peaceful during and after elections”. God answered our prayers. The elections were peaceful.

About the President Elect

George Manneh Weah was born on the 1 October 1966. He hails from humble origins, coming from a slum background. Today, he gives hope to many. To us as young people, this highlights that with hard work and commitment, one can achieve anything. Sometimes what may even seem as the impossible. From slums to striker to statesman. A retired professional footballer widely regarded as one of the greatest African player of all times. This was proved in 1995 when he was named FIFA World player of the year and won the Ballon D’Or. Becoming the first and to date, only Africa player to win this award. In 1989, 1994 and 1995, he was named the African Footballer of the year, and in 1996, he was named African player of the Century. His professional football careers spans playing for clubs in France, Italy and England.

About his political life

Weah became involved in politics in Liberia following his retirement from football. He formed the congress for Democratic Change and ran unsuccessfully for President in 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting. In 2011 elections, he ran unsuccessfully as vice President alongside Winston Tubman. Weah was subsequently elected to the Liberian senate for Montserrado County in 2014 elections. He is currently the President Elect of the republic of Liberia. What I admired most about this elections is the unity and peace it brought to the Liberian people.

Today, with his boots packed away, he now braces himself to lead Liberia. It our hope and belief that he will kick-out many challenges our country faces. That he will score by improving employment growth and major poverty alleviation inroads. That his term of office will see the successful accomplishments of the goal of building a peaceful and prosperous Liberia even further.

 

Source: Lawrence Dolo – YMCA Change Agent – Liberia

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